Massage is a great way for you to express your love and care for your baby & when done regularly is a wonderful way to establish a routine with your little one.
Unicef studies show that the benefits of skin to skin contact is a great way for babies to adjust to life outside the womb, supports better breastfeeding and helps boost the baby’s immune system. While baby massage has only become popular in the West over the last decade or so, our Indian grandmother’s have been rallying for it’s practice for over a century and cannot sing enough praises of it’s benefits.
To list a handful of benefits:
- improved weight gain
- aids in digestion
- improved circulation
- soothes teething pain.
- Better mental, social and physical development
- Babies tend to cry and fuss less
- They sleep better!
(Credit: BabyCenter UK)
The benefits go beyond just baby though – speaking from my own experience – I found that when I massaged my babies, my mood was much improved, I felt brighter. I looked forward to giving them their daily massage – it was my special time with them. It definitely helped me deal with postnatal depression too (which at the time I was in denial about!).
When should I start massaging my baby?
You can start massaging your baby as early as 4 weeks. Pick a time in the day where your baby is usually calm, alert and content. An hour or two after a feed is ideal and a massage can help your baby relax. When done 30-40 minutes before nap or bedtime, a massage is a great way for your baby to unwind and can help soothe into sounder sleep.
What products should I use?
Our skin absorbs all the products we apply and sends it straight to our bloodstream. Babies have skin that is so much more delicate & and the last thing we want to do is expose their skin to products with preservatives and artificial chemicals at such a young age.
The best products for your baby’s massage are pure, cold-pressed oils. While my grandmother could never sing enough praises of freshly pressed coconut oil, I found it too greasy for my liking. Instead, I chose to use Argan Oil for both my children – it’s a light oil, absorbs quickly while leaving a beautiful sheen. It meant that I could bathe my babies prior to the massage, and let them settle into a sound sleep once we’d finished our massage routine (something that isn’t possible with coconut oil).
I switched to using Apricot Oil once they got a bit older when I was sure it wouldn’t result in allergies (my oldest one had sensitivity to the high Vitamin E content in Apricot and Almond Oils when she was a newborn). It works just as well as Argan and is a bit easier on the pocket too.
Rooted has a great collection of pure oils to choose from – click here to view. While you’re there, be sure to look at the Mom & Baby collection for our superior rash & diaper cream – it’s unbeatable compared to anything you’ll find on a store shelf.
I’d like to start massaging my baby myself – where do I start?
Here’s a great video we found on Youtube – just follow along and after a few sessions, you’ll be a pro (Thanks onlymyhealth.com for putting this up). Happy bonding time with your baby!
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